Lit­er­ary medal win­ner clinches Is­land dou­ble

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

BE­ING awarded the Lit­er­ary Medal at the Na­tional Eisteddfod staged on Anglesey was not a new ex­pe­ri­ence for an is­land-born writer.

When the fes­ti­val was last staged on Anglesey the win­ner of the medal, the top prize for prose at Wales’ big­gest cul­tural fes­ti­val, was So­nia Ed­wards.

Eigh­teen years later, with the Eisteddfod back on the is­land, it was So­nia Ed­wards who, on hear­ing the call of the trum­pets rose in the glare of spot­lights and ap­plause to claim the prize.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony she said the ex­pe­ri­ence was just as mem­o­rable the sec­ond time: “It was fan­tas­tic, just as spe­cial the first time and the au­di­ence were so warm and sup­port­ive. I com­peted for the first time in 1999 and this was just the sec­ond time. I wrote the short sto­ries es­pe­cially for this com­pe­ti­tion.”

Her work, a col­lec­tion of six short sto­ries en­ti­tled Rhannu Am­barel (Shar­ing an um­brella), are about mat­ters she be­lieves peo­ple can em­pathise with.

“They are about love and loss, death and hi­raeth – there is no cor­re­spond­ing word in English for the long­ing, but they are things peo­ple re­late to,” she added.

The theme of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion was to com­pose a vol­ume of cre­ative prose on the theme of Cys­go­dion (Shad­ows).

Ad­ju­di­ca­tor Ger­wyn Wil­liams said 20 vol­umes were re­ceived and nearly half de­serve to be pub­lished.

He said the writ­ers had re­sponded to the theme in a va­ri­ety of ways with fan­tasy nov­els, his­tor­i­cal nov­els, short sto­ries and mi­cro lit­er­a­ture.

But even with dif­fer­ing opin­ions and taste one en­try ap­pealed to all three judges. Daiwa SR3, Ms Ed­wards’ nom de plume, ap­pealed to all three judges.

“These are ma­ture and em­pa­thetic sto­ries, cre­ated by a tal­ented writer, who is, a mas­ter of the short story genre. This year’s com­pe­ti­tion bodes well for the fu­ture of Welsh mod­ern cre­ative fic­tion, and we also have a very wor­thy win­ner here this, and the three of us unan­i­mously agree that the nom de plume of this year’s win­ner is Daiwa SR3,” said Mr Wil­liams.

Orig­i­nally from Ce­maes, Ms Ed­wards was ed­u­cated at Ban­gor Uni- CHEERS rang out across the Maes as an Anglesey choir won one of the Eisteddfod’s most pres­ti­gious prizes.

Six choirs com­peted in the youth choir com­pe­ti­tion un­der 25 with more than 20 mem­bers.

They were tasked with singing a 12-minute pro­gramme that in­cluded at least one un­ac­com­pa­nied song and one from a Welsh com­poser.

Af­ter a keen com­pe­ti­tion, that lasted much of the af­ter­noon ver­sity. Prior to tak­ing early re­tire­ment to con­cen­trate on writ­ing, she was a Welsh teacher.

She has a son, Rhys, a teacher and singer with the band Fleur de Lys, and lives in Llangefni.

She has pub­lished 27 nov­els and col­lec­tions of short sto­ries for chil­dren, young peo­ple and adults, and has two new nov­els in the pipe­line.

Her next novel, Glaw Trana, is the se­quel to Mynd Draw’n Droed­noeth, pub­lished in 2014, which she adapted for radio.

As well as win­ning the Lit­er­ary Medal in 1999 she has also won the Welsh Book of the Year prize in 1996 for her novel, Gloynnod. ses­sion, Côr Ieuenc­tid Mon, con­ducted by Mari Lloyd Pritchard, were de­clared win­ners and lifted the Daily Post Cup and a cash prize of £750.

Côr Ys­gol Gerdd Ceredi­gion were sec­ond and Côr Hyn Cyt­gan Cl­wyd placed third.

Lit­er­ary Medal win­ner So­nia Ed­wards

Ynyr Gwynedd, from Llan­l­lyfni, and Hy­wel Penri, Peny­groes, at the Save The Chil­dren Ap­peal while Gwion Mor­ris Jones (right), from Prenteg on Anglesey, won the solo from a mu­si­cal un­der 19

Mari Pritchard and some mem­bers from Côr Ieuenc­tid Môn af­ter win­ning the Daily Post Cup

Flower Girls at this year’s Eisteddfod

Car­wyn Lewis from Holy­head with mum So­nia

Breakfast on th the Maes for Ann C Ca­trin and An­gela Evans while Cai Fon D Davies (left) fr from Tal­wrn, Ll Llangefni, was first in the recitat recita­tion 16 to 21.

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